How to Spot Signs of Burnout in Restaurant Staff

In the restaurant and hospitality industry, the competition for labor is intense, and losing good employees could cost you big.

In a study with Kronos, Fortune Magazine found that 46% of companies attribute between 20% and 50% of workforce churn to employee burnout.

Is your staff stressed? You could be missing important signs! Below, read our best tips for identifying burnout in staff and how to correct it.

Are your employees…  

  • Exhausted? In the hospitality industry, it’s common for long shifts and rush periods to take their toll on employees. Remember that your staff - particularly front-of-house - always has to be “on” in order to build rapport with customers and keep them happy (and thus coming back). For this reason, hospitality can see burnout manifest itself in the form of exhaustion. Pay attention to how your employees are being assigned to shifts, and see if there’s a smarter way for them to be scheduled. For example, smart digital scheduling tools can help identify if an employee has been scheduled for a morning shift when they worked the night before (a new law will ban this from happening in NYC in November 2017 - see our writeup here). Be on the lookout for signs of exhaustion, such as drastic change in appearance like undereye circles, dull complexion, and a general look of neglect (especially if you know this person normally presents themselves in the best possible manner). 


  • Disengaged? The hospitality industry centers around engaging with people. So when a staff member becomes distant and withdrawn, it can be alarming. Furthermore, how your staff communicates your brand to customers can make or break a business. If your employee seems detached from their position, talk to them about what’s going on. Maybe they’re working long hours or feel they’ve outgrown their role and are ready for new challenges and opportunities. In that case, you will be able to put a plan together to move forward - perhaps they’d like to take additional classes to hone their skills. No matter what, stay tuned in to your team. Harri helps employers do this with TeamLive, which allows for seamless group or one-on-one communication with hospitality teams. Something as simple as surveying employees with quick questions about how their shift went upon clocking out, or making them feel involved through special announcements, can work wonders.


  • Noticeably Absent? Employees who are burnt out may show symptoms that manifest physically, such as weakened immune system, or emotional and mental distress, prompting them to need time off. A weakened immune system due to stress, being unfocused, or demotivation can lead to accidents in the workplace if left unaddressed. This is especially dangerous in the hospitality industry. Get to the root of the problem, and remember that things tend to trickle down - if a higher up staff member is experiencing negative emotions, it affects the team, which makes it even more crucial to solve.  


  • More Sensitive than Usual? When things are rough, employees who are more susceptible to take criticism personally are more likely to make mountains out of molehills. It’s important to know your employees personally, or have a manager who does, in order to detect sudden shifts in behavior.


  •  Expressing Negative Thoughts? Frequently voicing self-defeating thoughts like, “I’m not good at anything” are huge red flags that your employees might be burnt out. Be sure to give employees attention and support in order to figure out if it’s burnout, or a self-confidence issue.

Scheduling Regulations are Coming. Is Your QSR Business Prepared?

As referenced in a report by Restaurant Business Online, quick service restaurants in New York City will soon be required to meet more stringent standards for scheduling and hiring hourly employees starting in November 2017. 
These standards are part of a set of new labor laws, collectively known as the Fair Workweek Package, intended to provide restaurant and retail workers with more predictability in regards to income, work schedules, and planning for family needs such as childcare.
Most of these measures were proposed in the fall of 2016, and were all signed into law on May 30 by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. 
Here’s what you need to know about the new requirements: 

  • Employers must increase current employees’ hours before new hires are made. Employers will also have to set workers’ shifts at least two weeks in advance, with penalties assessed if any changes are made.
  • Establishments will be obliged to provide new hires with a “good faith” assessment of how many hours they can expect to work per week in the course of their jobs.
  • Employers will be prohibited from scheduling workers for a morning shift if they’d worked the closing shift the night before. Additionally, servers, bartenders, and back-of-house personnel can no longer be on call to come in if business becomes unexpectedly brisk.
  • Restaurants must deduct donations to nonprofit organizations from an employee's paycheck upon request and pass along the funds to the benefiting group. The stipulation raises the possibility of funding being channeled to labor advocacy groups that meet the definition of a nonprofit—in effect, setting up a union dues arrangement without the involvement of an actual union. 

As an employer, scheduling is the solution to preparing for these changes. 
A digital scheduling tool allows employers to cut scheduling time by up to 62%, allowing employers to adhere to the new law that says schedules must be set at least two weeks in advance. 
A mobile-friendly solution allows staff to easily view their weekly hours right from their laptop, tablet, or mobile device - which checks the box for providing new hires with a ‘good faith’ assessment of how many hours they can expect to work per week. 
A digital scheduling system will also display schedules across locations and is able to be viewed by category, meaning you’ll never run into the new rule that prohibits employers from scheduling workers for a morning shift if they worked the closing shift the night before. 
Harri’s TeamLive platform can do all of the above and more. Click here to schedule a free 10-minute demo.

Why a Mobile-First Mindset is a Must-Have for Your Restaurant

From the brunch rush to the dinner rush, hospitality business owners, operators, managers, and their customers are always on the go.
That’s why it’s important to keep up with both staff and customers. 
One place you’re always sure to find them? Their phones! 
By utilizing a mobile app, you’ll be able to engage employees and customers, streamline your operations, promote your brand, and drive business. 
Below, we’re covering all the ways in which a mobile-first mindset can enhance your hospitality business: 
Engage Younger Generations
Did you know that Millennials spend nearly $200 per month eating out? By catering to mobile demand, restaurant employers can get a bigger piece of the pie. 
For instance, 35% of 18-34 year olds like to place orders on smartphones or tablets, and 40% prefer a mobile payment over other options. This is especially relevant due to the rising popularity of quick service and fast casual restaurants. 
Creating a mobile app for your business, as well as implementing creative payment options, can help drive and retain a crucial Millennial customer base.
 Connect with a Broader Audience
Social media can help spread the word about a new opening or seasonal menu changes, generate interest, build community, and convey your brand’s value props. Utilizing your own social media accounts and encouraging your customers to share your brand can create a (free) community of influencers. 
Start by creating a Facebook page and an Instagram account for your business. Then, set up a geotag so people can tag their location when they dine at your establishment. Among Millennials and Gen Z, tagging locations is a great way to discover who’s eating where in their group of friends or what’s nearby. 
Finally, try to implement some unique hashtags around your business. Keeping unique, consistent hashtags builds your brand’s recognition. 
Implement Referral and Loyalty Programs
An old standby to garner business is by offering promotions - now, simply translate this relatively low-cost strategy to mobile. For example, through your app, you could offer customers double punches or loyalty points for dining with you on certain days, limited-time discounts for holidays, etc. Plus, loyalty programs will boost the likelihood of repeat visits.  
Send Push Notifications
Once you have collected a customer’s info through app-based referral or loyalty program, continue to engage with them via mobile push notifications. By informing someone of an offer or deal that’s about to expire, or gently reminding them they have unused loyalty points, you may be able to drive business that might’ve otherwise gone unnoticed by customers. 
Earn Better Reviews
Consumers today value convenience, as evidenced by the recent trend towards fast casual and quick service restaurants. 
Mobile apps offer people convenience. In turn, this makes them view your business and their overall experience more favorably. 
By encouraging consumers via a push notification to leave a review, you’ll eventually garner enough that your business will rank higher on review sites that matter. 

Harri to Showcase the Future of Labor Management at HITEC Toronto

Toronto, ON (June 19, 2017): Harri, the end-to-end human capital management solution designed for the unique needs of the hospitality industry, will showcase its revolutionary platform at HITEC, the world’s largest hospitality technology show, in Toronto June 26-29.

HITEC is an annual show that brings the brightest minds and hottest technology from around the world to one place.

In an industry faced with major regulatory changes, Harri’s value lies in its ability to compare labor and sales side-by-side via its end-to-end, multi-unit solution.

The future success of a hospitality organization will be driven by its ability to enhance visibility into data and actionable insights, thereby allowing them to increase productivity and revenues through smart management.

Traditional technology solutions used by the hospitality industry are outdated and disconnected, requiring the user to maintain many different operational systems in order to gain valuable insights.

Harri’s all-in-one platform consolidates up to 10 operational systems and is designed to reduce friction and increase transparency into how labor and sales are tied together.

This revolutionary platform includes innovative tools like team scheduling overlaid with labor costs and live sales performance data, providing operators with greatly enhanced profit visibility. Streamlined collection and analysis of data takes employee performance to new levels of intelligence and industry relevance.


Harri is a platform built to help the hospitality industry source, hire, and manage their employees more effectively and efficiently.  With Harri’s all-in-one digital platform, employers can find and onboard top talent for their business using media-rich profiles and streamlined tools, all while reducing costs, saving time, and enabling long-term success of teams with best-in-class cloud-based management systems.

To date, more than 3,000,000 applications from chefs, bartenders, servers, hostesses, and managers have been submitted to 53,000 jobs posted on Harri.

Harri has more than 370,000 members and 8,000 employers spanning the USA and UK markets. It is the number one marketplace for hospitality talent in NYC.

For more information, visit

Embrace the Millennial Mindset & Engage the Next-Gen Workforce

As Generation Z enters the workforce, and Millennials hold their status as the largest demographic class in America’s workforce, professional outlooks are changing -  and work environments have to change with them.

 Below we’re talking about these two different but closely related demographics, and how to better engage them in the workplace.

Millennials and Gen Z: What’s the Difference?

What exactly are the differences between Millennials and Generation Z? Gen Z is defined as the roughly 82 million americans born between 1994 and 2010. Therefore, the oldest among Gen Z are about to turn 21-22 and are beginning to enter the workforce. By contrast, Millennials were born between 1977-2000 and are expected to comprise half of America’s total workforce by 2020.

Leadership Styles

There are two ways to look at this: The types of leadership that Millennials and Gen Z expect from their leaders, and the types of leaders they aspire to be.

Traits such as approachability, honesty, and being supportive are among the most important attributes that both Millennials and Gen Z look for in a good leader. Millennials in particular want to be closely attuned to their leaders and draw inspiration from them. They’re looking for a leader who can clearly communicate the company’s overall mission, vision, and values.  

At Harri, we provide this opportunity though TeamLive. This digital team management platform not only allows for dynamic team scheduling overlaid with labor costs and POS sales performance integrations, it also creates a fruitful environment for team-wide communication.

As far as leadership style, Millennials have a strong desire to see the fruition of their work. They want to be sure that they’re having a direct contribution and impact on their workplace.

Using TeamLive, employers or managers can share real-time status updates with their team, easily collaborate with staff members, and share important content and company announcements - all from one vibrant platform. It’s similar to the social media platforms that Millennials and Gen Z use every day.   


Ask any Millennial or Gen Z if they grew up doing group work in the classroom, and the answer will likely be a resounding YES. Having grown up collaborating with others in school, both Millennials and Gen Z are hardwired to be team players.

Both Millennials and Gen Z consider coworkers as one of the most important factors in determining how a workplace will enable them to be successful. That’s why it’s key to hire and develop the right people. Harri’s dynamic Source + Hire tools allow employers and managers to discover and engage with candidates on a personality-infused platform, reducing turnover and ensuring the long-term success of their teams.

Career Growth & Performance Management

If Baby Boomers were the ‘Me Generation,’ it can be said that Millennials are the ‘ME ME ME! Generation.’ However, Millennials and Gen Z thrive off of regular feedback in order for a bigger end goal: to hone their skills and progress in their role.

To these generations, regular and consistent feedback is more important than a formal annual assessment.

Try giving positive reinforcement and everyday evaluations. Doing this through a digital platform like TeamLive can streamline the process, only adds a couple minutes to an employer or manager routine, and keeps employees feeling involved and challenged.

The Workplace

Tech may be uncharted territory for many business owners and managers in the hospitality industry, but for digital natives like Gen Z and Millennials, technology is second nature.

Both generations expect tech and digital communications to be an important part of not just their personal lives, but their professional lives. The more you can incorporate relevant technology into your workplace, the more these generations will feel engaged. In turn, this will lead to higher retention rates.

If using tech pervasively in the workplace intimidates or feels foreign to you, keep in mind that a work environment that doesn’t have software, tech tools, or mobile apps will likely seem foreign to Millennials and Gen Z.

Use technology to your advantage and you may find that your quality of communication increases and scheduling errors decrease, which is better for your business!


Balance and flexibility are as important in life as in the workplace, but in the crazy world of hospitality, they’re not always possible. As a tradeoff, employers and managers should offer transparent communication and opportunities for staff to feel like they have a measure of control over their schedules through automated scheduling and swap request tools.  

Harri offers tools through TeamLive that allow people to request time off, shift swaps, and more - with permissions settings in place so it’s a controlled environment.  

The Bottom Line

As new generations of employees enter the workforce, so does new perspective. Restaurants and the hospitality industry as a whole need to stay relevant. Tech is key, and many brands have embraced this mindset from a client-facing perspective - but we need to remember the people behind the scenes, as well.